Paris Transportation (Part 1 of 2)No matter where you have managed to acquire accommodation in Paris, you are going to need transportation to truly see the city.
Only the very brave, familiar with European (especially Parisian) motorists, are going to hire a car that they drive themselves —especially since rental rates start at around $65 per day, with a 20% VAT (value added tax) on top.
When you are tired of walking (Paris is a uniquely compact city, measuring just six miles across), you have several choices for getting off your feet.
Tour CompaniesThere are numerous tour companies that you can contact via your travel agent, or the hotel where you are staying, for a general look at Paris. And don't fear that you will be shuffled around on a strict schedule.
Most of them are very flexible, and now design their tours based on the individual's choice of places to see, and time that they have to spend. So a tour vehicle with others is not only companionable, but a cost effective way of seeing some of the major, or outlying sites of the city.
For delving in the side streets and by-ways of Paris, not to mention the shopping districts and Museums or gardens where you can spend many hours, the most popular and efficient method of travel is the Metro system.
Opened on July 19, 1900, the Metro originally consisted of just one line, running from Porte de Vincennes to Porte Maillot.
The Metro and its distinctive Art Nouveau entrances are the combined efforts of architect Hector Guimard and engineer Fulgence Bienvenue.
Today the system is comprised of 199 km of track, and 15 lines, with 368 stations, of which 87 are for line changes. In 1989, statistics recorded 3500 cars, and some 3,000 employees were responsible for transporting 6 million passengers each day.
Reportedly, no building or attraction in Paris is more than 3/10 of a mile from a Metro station.
Working in conjunction with the Metro is the RER (Résau Express Régional), that connects Paris to the surrounding countryside.
Some of the stations of the Metro are worth... [Continued]
For Beginners Copyright © 2004 M. Feenstra, Den Haag. All rights reserved.